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Support Program For Rural Queer Youth Nears First Anniversary

Photo provided by Beck Johnson.

A program for LGBTQ youth on the coast is nearing its first year of operation in rural Lincoln County.

Called The Bravery Center, its mission is to provide a safe space and mental health services for the queer community in the county and beyond.  Its founder and director, Beck Johnson, identifies as trans/non-binary.  While the pandemic has forced a virtual reworking of the Bravery Center, Johnson says its purpose remains the same: helping queer youth deal with prejudice, self-harm, rejection, and fear.

Credit Photo provided by Beck Johnson.
Beck Johnson, founder and director of the Bravery Center.

“All those things get intensely magnified. By factors such as increased isolation, lack of visibility, lack of awareness," Beck told KLCC.

"Often increased prejudice toward queer people and general lack of acceptance.  And there is quite often an absence of acceptable resources within their community.”

Johnson says Bravery Center is a program of Olalla Center, a non-profit group in Lincoln County. After the pandemic is over, there’ll be a grand opening in the Lincoln City Cultural Center. About 18 youth are currently participating.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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